Let me start out this post by saying that i do not want to put another culture on blast or say that i come from a better culture or anything, but...c´mon!
The education system down here def needs help. i work at an elementary/high school with an impressive backdrop of natural beauty, mountainous ranges. The architecture of the building is pretty modern too. But how kids are being taught there is a bit unimpressive.
What is a normal school day? well, let me tell you. The kids come to school at like 7 30 in the AM. get recess from 8 45 to 9 45 (sometimes even longer) and go home at 11 30. Then in the afternoon there is just elementary school with different students from 1 to 2 30. Then recess from 2 30 to 3 30. then they go home at 5. So its like the kids only get 4 hours of learning a day...if that!
How it works? When the kids get to school they go to their classrooms and sit there and copy information off the board for HOURS! like it is suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper boring. You are lucky to actually have discussions in the classroom. The activities are super basic and easy. The homework is not always done and the kids can pass their classes without doing the homework. Walking around the school you will often find students running around playing or students that have found a corner to socialize in. There is no discipline. During tests, the students often look off each other´s papers openly and the teacher´s don´t give them zeros or nothing. its like its ok or something. If a child fails an exam, they can retake the exam as many times as they want until they pass it.
Who benefits? The sad thing is that a lot of these kids dont know where africa is or think that the US is on the other side of the world (across the ocean). They do not know how to be independent thinkers. They dont have confidence in their work. They lose their creativity. I once was in a class and i asked the question what do you want to be when you grow up. Half the boys said they wanted to be soccer players and the girls said they wanted to be doctors or lawyers. But the fact of the matter is there was no variety in answers and then i asked what do you have to do to become a doctor or lawyer and they didnt know. Personal goals are hard to dig out of the regular paraguayan child. and i wonder if they are just saying that they wanna be someone big but in actuality they will continue working at the carwash down the street. So who benefits? well, no one.
The education system is in dier need of a makeover down here. its heartbreaking. i really want to whip these teachers into gear! they need it! i was teaching an english class the other day in the elementary school and a soccer game for the world cup came on. Well the teachers brought out the tv in the hallway and instead of learning anything all the students ran out of my class to watch the game. Paraguay wasn´t even playing in this game... Super frustrating! But right now, this is my reality. The job is hard. Its not that im just here to talk about my culture. i´m also here to change minds. and honey, that ain´t easy.